Running Through the Heat Wave

We have been experiencing a heat wave here for the past couple of days with temperatures getting above 30 Celsius. Yesterday it got up to 34, or 93 Fahrenheit. It felt even hotter than if you count the humidex. By the looks of it we are in for similar temperatures the rest of the week.

Yesterday morning I got my first taste of the heat wave when I headed out for a run around 9:30 and it was already 27. I ended up doing 19 km in 1:37 but I made sure to have enough fluids to keep myself hydrated and I took walk breaks in order to keep myself from pushing too hard.

One bonus that I had going yesterday was that my plan involved running to my in-laws who have a backyard swimming pool. You can likely imagine what I did as soon as I finished my run.

As I already mentioned, the rest of the week looks like it will bring more of the same in terms of weather. This means having to adjust my running plans as it will still be quite hot after work.

Starting tomorrow I am planning to get up and head for my runs at 5:00 which will still leave me with enough time to get ready and head out the door on-time for work.

Have you adjusted your running plans to the heat wave?

Saturday Stories

It’s time for the latest installment of Saturday Stories, a compilation of some of my favourite articles and blog posts from the week.

As always, if you came across something I missed and feel is worthy of mention feel free to post a link below.

Looking for tips on nutrition for running? Check out the first installment of the Runner’s Plate on iRunnerBlog.

Is the 10% rule really the best approach when increasing mileage?

Not sure when to replace your shoes? Here’s some advice.

If you enjoy peanut butter here’s an article on the benefits of peanut butter as a sports food.

Tips on how to recover after a long run.

Finaly, since we are currently experiencing some of the hottest days of the year, here is a good reminder about sunscreen.   







Race plans for the Rest of the Year

Now that the Perth Kilt Run is out of the way I still have a few races scheduled between now and the end of the year.

So far, my next race is the 5 Peaks Camp Fortune trail race next month. I did the 12 km race last year and am planning to do the same distance again. I did this one last year and quite enjoyed it. I figure doing it again this year will give me a nice diversion from my usual training. You can read about last year’s experience here.

Following that I am scheduled to be a pace bunny in the Army Run half-marathon. I have participated in the run for the past two year and last year as a pace bunny for the first time. You can read about that experience here.

Finally, in November I am running the Philadelphia Marathon which is my goal race for the second half of the year. The goal for that one will be to improve on my 3:23 from the Ottawa Marathon in May.

So far that is my schedule of races for the rest of the year. However, I am toying with the idea of finding a 5 km in order to see how fast I could run it. During the kilt I was on pace for a sub 20 minute 5 km so if I can find a 5 km race around here either this month or next month I will probably add that to my list.

What are your race plans for the rest of the year?

Marathon Profile: Petra Marathon

Tonight I am profiling a marathon from a part of the world I would not have thought of checking for a marathon until I came across this one. The profile is of the Petra Marathon in Jordan.

If the site looks familiar you may recall it from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The race itself starts off in the ancient city of Petra. It sounds like a really challenging course as half the race is run on asphalt while the other half is run on gravel. There are also steep ascents and descents to deal with.

As you can imagine, given the location, heat is also a factor. Also not surprisingly, there is very little shade along the course. For this reason the race starts early in the morning.

Unfortunately I could not find any race reviews this time because this one appears to be a relatively new race.

If you have run it or plan to please post your thoughts.

Eating Habits While Training for a Marathon

For a newspaper that does not always offer extensive coverage of sports, the Globe and Mail recently published another article of interest for runners. This one on what to eat while training for a marathon.

The article poses the question whether marathon training is a license to eat? The article got me thinking about my own eating habits while I am training for a marathon.

Obviously the extra mileage you run while training for a marathon means you are burning more calories and you need to take in more calories in order to compensate. However, this does not mean you can eat junk food if you want to have any success.

In terms of my own habits, I still enjoy desert, even an extra one at times, and I enjoy craft beer but I think my eating habits have improved since I have started training for marathons – more fruit and vegetables, less red meat as well as less fried and processed foods etc.

Another thing I have incorporated its keeping track of what I eat throughout the day for which I use the following website. I don’t do this because I was ever overly concerned with losing or gaining weight. I use it to ensure I am consuming enough calories to make up for the ones burned while running and to make sure I incorporate enough carbohydrates and protein into my diet for energy and recovery.

How has marathon training changed your eating habits? Do you keep track of what you eat?

Body Type of a Marathoner

As you can expect, I was quite intrigued today when I came across a Globe and Mail article on the body type for a marathoner.

According to the article, the average elite male marathoner stands 5 foot 7 and weighs approximately 140 pounds.

I am not sure exactly what this means for myself. I am approximately 5 foot 7 and weigh a touch less than 140 pounds. So far I have had good luck avoiding injury and improving my finishing time in the marathon. If this study is accurate maybe my body type has played a part in that.

The researchers do point out that the study does not mean that runners who fit into what they have identified as the body type of a marathoner should not run marathons. On the contrary, they suggest fitting your training to best suit your body type as some bidy types are more prone to injury.

The researchers also point out that mechanics, strength, flexibility and alignment play a much greater role in injury, and injury prevention, than body type.

What do you think of the study? Have you tailored your training to your body type?

Obsessed with Running?

When I heard the news last week of the new 42 km long bridge in China my first thought was related to running.

I did not marvel at the architecture or think about the technology and large sums of money needed to build such a project. No, my first thought was the length of the bridge is the same distance as a marathon.

Of course the winds would likely be a big factor but surely they could setup a point to point course starting at one end of the bridge and finishing at the other end.

What do you think? Do you ever find yourself having similar thoughts or is this just an example of my obsession with running?

Saturday Stories

Once again it is time for Saturday stories. As always, if you came across any blog posts or articles this past week that I have missed feel free to post a link below.

Here are this week’s stories:

A blog post about an interesting study on hydration during a race.

What do you do with your race medals? Here’s an idea.

Do you wonder whether or not you should eat before a run?

Here’s an article on why exercise makes us feel good.

Should you use sport drinks or gels to fuel for a run?

Do you run with or without headphones?

Here’s a podcast on the importance of recovery.

Finally, the latest #runchat is tomorrow night.



Yesterday’s Run

Since I had the day off yesterday my plan was to head for a mid-morning run. I was planning to head for a a minimum of 10 km since I had not run since Sunday due to a trip out of town.

My plan seemingly got off to a good start as the rain they were calling for yesterday had not yet started by the time I left the house. Unfortunately, about 1 km into my run the thunder started and I was soon caught in the middle of a torrential downpour that left me sprinting for cover under a highway overpass.

Fortunately my wife was already awake and came to pick me up so I did not have to run the rest of the way home.

Fast forward to last night, I decided to head out just after 9:30 and finish the run I started about 12 hours earlier. For some reason when I left the house I decided I would head toward the venue for the Ottawa Bluesfest, an outdoor music festival taking place here over the next two weeks.

It’s really more of a general music festival than an actual blues festival, I saw Soundgarden and the Flaming Lips there earlier in the week and am headed to see Jane’s Addiction next weekend.

Now that I’ve probably given away my age with my taste in music I’ll get back to my run. As I mentioned, I decided to run toward the venue which is about 5 km from my house. I got there and ended up along the street right behind the main stage as Ben Harper was playing. The sound quality was still great from that vantage point so I sat and listened to a few songs before turning around and running another 5 km home.

Do your runs ever turn into unexpected adventures?

Marathon Profile: Solar Eclipse Marathon

Tonight I found a certainly unique marathon to profile. It is the Solar Eclipse Marathon which will take place in North-East Australia in November of 2012.

I am not sure if such a race has been offered before or is planned in other parts of the world but from what I can tell it is a first.

The marathon involves meeting at the corrals located on a beach at 6:30 in order to watch the eclipse with the other runners. Once the sun re-emerges from behind the moon the race will start.

The course is a mix of trail and road running with parts of it taking place along the beach, in the forest, along sugar cane fields and in Port Douglas itself. For this reason it is advertised as an adventure, certainly a race where you are going to look to set a personal best time in the marathon.

If this is not enough, due to the location of Port Douglas, travel packages also include tours of the Great Barrier Reef.

It is funny that today my wife figured we should buy a lottery ticket for this week after hearing an ad on the radio. We discussed what we would want to do with the money if we ever won. After paying off our house and setting up an education fund for our daughter I have now found something to put at the top of my list!